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A guide to resources on economic inequality
Over the past couple years there has been an ongoing global conversation on the causes and effects of economic, or income, inequality. Economic inequality is the gap between the wealthest people in a nation and the poorest people in terms of economic wealth. Some, such Harry Frankfur, argue that more attention should be paid to addressing poverty than economic inequality. The following resources should help one start researching this important topic.
The map on the right illustrates, in warm tones, the GINI coefficient, a measure typically used for comparing countries on the basis of income equality. It ranges from 0 to 1 and is thus easily converted into a percentage of inequality. The inset map, in cool tones, represents the income group of the county (This may be useful in determining if a country has high levels of equality due to poverty opposed to equality due to policy). It should be noted that the GINI coefficient is very sensitive to the definition of income.
TED Videos on Income Inequality
Income Ineqaulity in the OECD
Suggested Search Terms
Library of Congress Subject Headings:
Suggested Keywords: income inequality, wealth gap, and economic justice
Recommended Databases & Journals
JSTOR This link opens in a new windowJSTOR is a full text digital archive of scholarly journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Coverage generally begins with the first issuse running to within 3 years of present. Current issues of journals are often available from other USM databases.
EconLit This link opens in a new windowEconLit, the American Economic Association's electronic database, is the world's foremost source of references to economic literature. The database contains more than 1.1 million records from 1886-present. EconLit covers virtually every area related to economics.
Worldwide Political Science Abstracts This link opens in a new windowWorldwide Political Science Abstracts indexes more than 1,500 periodicals in the fields of political science, international relations, law, public administration, and public policy. Indexing begins in 1975, and is updated monthly.
The World Wealth and Income Database
The World Wealth and Income Database (WID) aims to provide convenient open access to the most extensive available data series on the world distribution of income and wealth.
OECD Income Distribution Database (IDD)
The OECD Income Distribution Database tracks trends and levels in Gini coefficients before and after taxes and transfers, average and median household disposable incomes, relative poverty rates and poverty gaps, before and after taxes and transfers, etc. Updated Annually.